1. Which way to go with leaseholds?

    3 February 2016

    I was at a lunch time meeting today with a group of surveyor/valuers.We have regular get togethers to talk over topical stuff and general property matters.

    As usual the leasehold situation is on the agenda and it is interesting to see how things are moving.

    The general consensus now seems to be that the lease extension with no up-front payment and a high, index linked ground rent is not favoured and may result in very little increase in value of a property.

    This is something to bear in mind when choosing which type of lease extension to go for.

    Any mortgage valuation will be influenced by both the length of time remaining on a lease and the ground rent payable.

    As an example recent ground rent figures quoted for new leases with no up front payment are over £700 p.a.

    Something to think about and even more reason to challenge the prices quoted by Simarc, Compton Group and Shenstone.

    What we need is a move against this trend of relatively short leases on houses and flats.

    There is no real reason that new leases should have a longer term. Flats with a “Tyneside ” lease were given 999 year terms.

    These flats are found all over Newcastle and Northumberland.

    The terraced flats in the village on East View Ave and Blagdon Terrace have this sort of lease.

    No problems with them.

    There are Bell flats at Wideopen with these long leases.

    Why not Cramlington?

  2. Leasehold problems taken to M.P.

    18 December 2015

    Latest update.
    One of our friends has had a meeting with Ronnie Campbell, M.P. for Blyth Valley about the ongoing issues with leaseholds.
    Ronnie is interested in helping us if he can.
    This is a huge step forward in our campaign to get some fair play.
    He has asked for as much information as we can generate about the situation.
    I have my own ideas on what to submit and i am probably going to do it by bullet pointing the issues that I think are the most important.
    Please put your thoughts and experiences on our page,
    any ideas that you think would improve matters and again, please pass this on to as many as you can who feel they have been affected by the current situation.
    Even more important to stop our kids falling into the trap when they buy.
    This is not just a Cramlington problem. Newsham Farm in Blyth, Kington Park, parts of Killingworth, estates around Durham, indeed any Leech, Barratt or Bellway estates are similar so if you have any friends there make sure they get involved too.
    We need numbers!
    I will put everything together for a meeting planned early in the New Year.

  3. Where do Freeholders and their agents get these figures from?

    7 December 2015

    We have been on a bit of a crusade to help owners of leasehold properties recently as you may know.

    Why are we bothering?

    Here’s why.

    We had a call from an owner of a leasehold detached house on one of the Northburn estates in Cramlington recently. He had been quoted over £14,000 for the purchase of his freehold.

    After a discussion and quite a bit of negotiation he managed to agree on a figure of £3,125  ( a bit of a difference there you’ll agree ).

    We happen to be selling a similar property in the same street, also leasehold on similar terms. The owner enquired about the price for obtaining the freehold and guess what?  He was quoted over £14,000.

    Naturally, we have passed this information on. He won’t be paying what they asked.

    That’s why we are bothering.

    What would happen if we weren’t passing this sort of stuff on ?

    Why would anyone want  to pay up without checking values first?

    The more information we get and pass on the more we can help you save money and reduce stress.




  4. Cramlington Leasehold Information

    16 November 2015

    Have you seen this page on Facebook?

    It’s still early days but the number of followers and contributors is gaining pace.

    I am encouraging everyone to post any useful information and share their thoughts.

    Please have a look and let me know what you think.


  5. Rentals Testimonial from Hannah…

    I just wanted to send a note to say thank you so much for all of your help through the whole process of the move (from suggesting the property until the point of moving in) – it was completely seamless!

    I couldn’t be happier and the landlord has left the property in a wonderfully clean condition – I would really appreciate it if you could pass on my gratitude to him also and tell him I’m absolutely delighted with my new home, it is in extremely safe hands!

    Many thanks for all of your help as usual!

  6. A bit of air time….

    21 September 2015

    3 appearances on BBC television, a 2 page spread in the Daily Mail and an interview on Radio 5 Live. Not bad for a small town, one office estate agent. Why? Because I’m committed to doing the right thing ( to the best of my ability) and to promote our profession and the National Association  Of Estate Agents.

    The problems of leaseholds still seem to go over the heads of homeowners. I have come across two more  would be vendors today , oblivious of the implications of trying to sell a property with a short lease and enjoyed two visits from local home owners looking for some advice following the publicity. I put them on the right track.

    I’ll keep it up till I get through.

    Could take a while.

  7. Following the Daily Mail….. The B.B.C. Show an interest.

    2 September 2015

    The Daily Mail feature has resulted in a couple of calls from the BBC. One from the local office at Newcastle and another from Radio 5 Live. I should be on later for an interview.What we need from the publicity is a change in the way that disputes over prices of freeholds and lease extensions are dealt with.

    There is no fairness in the current system. Prices quoted for freeholds can be contested but surely a better way would be for an independent valuation be used or a formula be available to both sides so that we have a level playing field from the start.

    I have done what I can to get this problem aired by the media but like most news, it’s tomorrow’s chip wrapper.

    Have a word with your/ our M.P..

    I’ve tried local councillors but they are decidedly uninterested. As long as we have flowers on roundabouts they seem to be happy.

    The media are more interested in your stories than mine.

    The snowball may be starting to roll down the hill.

    Up to you.

  8. Daily Mail visit

    27 August 2015

    Thanks for getting involved in this morning’s meeting. Everyone had a story to tell and an experience to share.

    I’m sure that we gave Ruth, their journalist, plenty of information to digest and formulate.

    A special thanks to Alistair Woodruff for his professional input.

    I think we agree that the current situation with regard to the conduct of the companies that own and trade in leasehold property needs to be looked at.

    I will let you know when the feature is due to appear.


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